The Forgotten Army

Roots: There are references to X-Factor, Grand Theft Auto, the New York Times, Batman, Wayne Rooney, Facebook, Keystone Cops, The A-Team, Cagney and Lacey, Starsky and Hutch, The Sopranos, Bonnie and Clyde, Jim Henson, CSI, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, Brad Pitt, War of the Worlds, the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, William Tell, Winston Churchill, Simon Schama and Wily Coyote.

Dialogue Disasters: “The Vykoids are the race with the most refined technology of any attacking race.”

Dialogue Triumphs: “When you’re going in to face an impossible creature it’s best to be absolutely defenceless. That way we won’t be lulled into a false sense of security.”

Amy on the Doctor: “He’s… a complete buffoon, with a silly fringe, and bandy legs, and the most bizarre way of talking. But if he was here, Oscar, he’d have the lights back on again in a second.”

Continuity: The Vykoids are only a few inches tall and have heads like angry trolls. They have tough leathery skin and dark eyes. They wear spiked helmets. Their ship is disguised as a woolly mammoth – they have been frozen in ice for thousands of years. They want to enslave creatures from Earth to work in the Desiccated mines of Cassetia 2. They can move at lightening speed. They can control the minds of larger animals, and developed large war machines to compensate for their small size. They are a Level 18 civilisation and have the technology to put a time freeze all over Manhattan.

The Doctor has bought the New York street that Big Paulie’s is on in Amy’s name. He carries a small pair of binoculars. The code he used to gain access has been on record since 1932. He is shot with six tranquiliser darts. He carries a large torch in his pocket. He has heard of the Vykoid slave mines in the Cassetia asteroids. He sets up an active conscious connection with the psychic paper to send a message to Amy. He offers to take Amy to the Delerium Archive to see Magnatine Dynasty crystals.

Amy uses the psychic paper to convince a taxi driver that she is the Empress of Scotland and that the Doctor is her driver. The Doctor later uses it to pose as the Official City Animal Wrangler. Amy also claims to be Detective Pond and poses as Professor of Psychology at Oxford and Special Inspector with Scotland Yard. She went horse-riding once and broke her arm. She has watched all of Glee. She has confiscated one of the Doctor’s most colourful bowties, to make sure that he never wears it.

The Cassetia asteroids were excreted several million years ago by a herd of Space-Boars, a race of giant carnivores that only ate rotting meat from the swamps of Malmatine 5 and grew so huge that they evolved into creatures capable of travelling in space. They ate their way around the universe for twenty-thousand years before producing the asteroids, which are reputed to produce the worst smell in the galaxy. The atmosphere of the mines on the asteroids actually prolongs the lives of the slaves working in the Vykoid mines.

The Doctor has suggested visiting the Moons of Poosh or the Sapphire Beaches of Padparashan 2. Haemo-Goths have long tongues. There is a restaurant in the Luxury Zone of the Ruby Solar System where everything is cooked in liquid nitrogen. There are aliens who live near the Plough who are almost entirely composed of water and obsessed with the weather.

Links: The Doctor mentions New, New, New, New, New, New, New York (New Earth). There are references to Ood, Judoon, Graske, Cat People (New Earth, Gridlock), and Atraxi (The Eleventh Hour). Colonel Mace gives the Doctor a UNIT reference (The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky). The Doctor notes that he spent too much time underground the last time he was in New York (Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks).

Location: New York, June 2010.

Future History: The Doctor wants to take Amy to a museum in the 175th century, but the canteen there is rubbish: they only eat Jericoacoara beans for religious reasons. Big Paulie’s in June 2010 one day becomes the most famous restaurant in the galaxy: in the 208th century, people are so obsessed with it that they travel back in time from all over the galaxy in order to eat there.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor visited the Grand Hall of the New York Natural History Museum to retrieve some items dug up in the Gobi desert; he was responsible for them being there in the first place. He also visited New York in 1829 and was at the Bronx peace talks.

The Bottom Line: Witty and memorable, with distinctive aliens and some great supporting characters. It’s slightly silly, but Minchin brings enough wit and verve to it to get away with it. Matt Smith’s voice virtually leaps out of the page, so well are the regulars captured.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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